Tag Archives: Perfect Princess

Jinty 16 February 1980

Jinty cover 16 February 1980

Stories in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer ?Benita Brown)
  • Alley Cat
  • The Perfect Princess (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Poisoned Rose – Gypsy Rose story (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Robin Cousins (text feature)
  • Winning Ways 6: The Dolphin Butterfly Stroke (writer Benita Brown)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

What a jolly, lively cover! The next week’s issue will have a much more dramatic set of images, but it’s nice to have some variety.

This issue leads off with the mostly-humorous stories of “Pam of Pond Hill” and her friends. Marty is suffering through having her brainy sister Trina as her training coach – suffering being the right word because she is also hiding a sports injury, or trying to. Pam is worried because she can see something is wrong although Marty isn’t letting on – but as the episode ends up with Marty lying on the shower room floor in a faint, the cat is let out of the bag! This is a well-handled example of the ‘stony face’ sort of plot idea – the suffering heroine who tries to hide it, normally very annoyingly. In this story we feel genuinely worried for Marty, alongside Pam and her friends.

In “Spirit of the Lake”, horrid Cynthia is laying it on thick by pretending to have lost her memory of the accident in the previous episode, whereas really she wants to trick Karen into revealing her secret skating teacher. The tables are turned when Karen is stopped from following the speed-skating Cynthia down the end of the lake – because the ghostly skater has turned up to warn of thin ice and deadly danger! Will Karen be able to skate fast enough to save Cynthia next week – and will Cynthia be at all grateful, I wonder?

The Perfect Princess” shows the aftermath of the exploded cannon in the tower that Victoria was trapped in – her parents think she is dead and even her rival Sally is faintly sorry: “Victoria was anything but sweet and lovely! Still, I wouldn’t have wanted her blown up.” However, Victoria is alive and well and still scheming – and has been handed an absolute godsend tool to use against her challenger, in the form of precious information about Sally’s background that she had been trying to keep hidden.

There is a second Trini story in this issue – a Gypsy Rose story of a spiteful cousin who asks a wicked magician for a charm to make sure that her object of desire falls in love with her and not her rival. The charm turns the sweet cousin into a bad-tempered shrew – but true love wins through before too long.

“Toni on Trial” has Toni running away from her club’s outing on a bleak rainy night; but this turns into a blessing in disguise when she finds a frightened kid whose friend has had an accident. Toni applies some basic first aid and common sense, and runs to get help; but meanwhile, her friend Anne has gone to Toni’s grandparents house and broken the news that she has run away, which the grandfather reacts very badly to – by burning Toni’s new running shoes! “It’s like her mother all over again! She brought shame on the family. Now her daughter’s done the same! … As long as she lives in this house, she’ll never take place in another race!”

The Sports Jinty pages in the middle of the comic feature ice skater Robin Cousins – very suitable for a weekly paper with an ice skating story in it – and a didactic strip showing you how to do a butterfly stroke in swimming, by kicking like a dolphin. It’s quite a good teaching method, I suspect, for small and specific ways to improve your performance in your chosen sport. Here is an example page, as we have not shown one before on this blog.

The Dolphin Butterfly Stroke
click thru

Bridie Mason is finally paddling her own canoe rather than a borrowed club boat. Here again there are a number of teaching tips – in this case on understanding the ‘draw stroke’. It’s far from all about teaching though – the drama is not far away as snobby rival Jocelyn is happy to needle Bridie into spending money she can’t really afford, not when she still has to pay off her new canoe. She finds the money by agreeing with her mother that they can sell her electric sewing machine, but it all backfires when her canoe teacher lets the cat out of the bag that Bridie has already earmarked the money for her new “White Water”!

“When Statues Walk” has Laura thinking she is rescuing an innocent princess from the fearsome clay warriors; there are some lovely, atmospheric pages as she makes her way past the watchers to the buried longship with the prisoner. The prisoner is untied – and the deception is unravelled too, as it becomes clear that she is not Princess Leh, but Hel, demon goddess of the underworld!

Jinty 26 January 1980

Jinty 25 January 1980

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Perfect Princess (artist Trine Tinturé)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sports pages – Clare Francis; Winning Ways (writer Benita Brown)
  • White Water – (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Jinty Verse Calendar pullout
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

Pam of Pond Hill starts a new story about sporty Marty and her bossy sister Trina, who starts interfering to make her even better with bookish learning about athletics. Meanwhile, Bridie turns to books as well, to resurrect “White Water”.

In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, the ghosts of Gallows Hill think Sir Roger’s a traitor for fraternising with a human being and are out for blood, but Gaye’s got a plan for dealing with them. Knowing her, perhaps we should feel sorry for those ghosts.

In “Spirit of the Lake” spiteful Cynthia is getting suspicious of Karen and her secret training. It had to happen. And in “Toni on Trial”, it looks like the dirty tricks Sharon played on Toni have paid off. But there is one event Sharon can’t sabotage for Toni….

Princess Victoria’s dirty tricks succeed in getting rid of another rival – one who was playing as dirty as she is. But it isn’t Sally, the one Victoria really wants out of the way. And now Sally has been alerted to Victoria. But they both get a shock when the King finds another candidate more favourable.

In “When Statues Walk”, a teacher confiscates the pendant. As Laura fears, it brings another walking Viking statue to the school to make a grab for it – which doesn’t do much for school property. Worse, Laura’s getting the blame for the damage!

Girl Picture Library

Girls’ picture libraries. The monthly Commando-style digests where girls could read a complete 64-page story every month as a supplement to their regular weekly comic. Thrillers, humour, drama, horror, supernatural, heart-breakers, fantasy or science fiction stories were told in a once-a-month, one-volume complete story.

The picture libraries also provided stories about favourite regulars such as The Four Marys, Wee Slavey and The Comp. Occasionally there were variations in the formula, such as a story being told over two picture libraries, or a picture library featuring several short stories instead of one complete one. One example was “Scream!” (not to be confused with the IPC comic of the same name), which told five scarey stories to make you scream.

Picture libraries were a long-running staple of four of DCT’s titles: Bunty, Judy, Mandy and Debbie. The Bunty picture libraries lasted 455 issues. This is not surprising as Bunty herself is the longest-running girls’ title in history. The Mandy books finished at the same time as the Bunty ones, but at 277 books. Judy produced 375 books and Debbie 197 books. Towards the end of the run reprints appeared although original stories continued.

In IPC the girls’ picture library had a more unusual and uneven history. June and Princess Tina were the only titles to produce any long-running ones. In fact, the June picture library eventually recycled the old Princess logo to become the wordy title, “June and School Friend and Princess Library Picture Library“. Maybe this was why “Picture Library” was dropped on the cover at some point after #458, though the spine continued to say “June and School Friend and Princess Picture Library” to the end of its run.

Tammy and Jinty were never given any picture libraries although they lasted the longest after June. Yet the photo-story comic, Girl (series 2) was given her own picture library. This lasted for just 30 books. Miniscule compared with the rich histories of the June picture library and its counterparts from DCT. But what gives Girl Picture Library its place on this blog is that although some of the libraries were original material, many of them also reprinted material from Jinty and Tammy.

Most of the reprints appeared under revised titles, some of which were awful and showed little thinking. For example, “Vision of Vanity Fayre” from Tammy was reprinted in Girl Picture Library #2 under the the extremely lame title of “Dear Diary”. Strangely, the last three Girl picture libraries reprinted Tammy stories under their original titles.

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There were some oddities and even downright sloppiness in the run, which may indicate what sort of budget or editorship that the series was running to. For example, the cover of #16 (reprint of “My Heart Belongs to Buttons”) changes the appearance of the heroine. Readers must have been surprised or irritated when they opened the issue and found the brunette heroine inside bearing no resemblance to the girl on the cover. And the girl who appears on the cover of #25 (reprint of “Shadow on the Fen”, above) has the wrong hair colour – she is blond on the cover but is a brunette in the story. The witchfinder too looks different – he looks younger and has a fuller face than the craggly gaunt face rendered by Douglas Perry. Still, it is a beautiful, haunting cover.

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A more striking oddity was “Sue’s Daily Dozen” being reprinted over two volumes: “Spellbound” and “Bewitched”. But there was no indication in “Spellbound” to say “to be continued”. Readers must have wondered why the story suddenly stopped abruptly. The remaining pages are devoted to “Tiny Tina”, which is Wee Sue under a revised title. “Cathy’s Casebook” also appears in two volumes: “Cathy’s Crusade” and “Dr Cathy”. But the reprint is even odder in that “Dr Cathy” does not come immediately after “Cathy’s Crusade” – “The Old Mill” is in between them.

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Naturally, some material and panels had to be cut or modified to make the reprints fit into 64-page pocket size volumes. For example, “Moments of Terror”, which reprints “Waves of Fear”, deletes Priscilla Heath and the orienteering club sequences. Both of these played a key role in the resolution of the story in its original run – realising that the panic Clare Harvey had while her friend was drowning in a cave was a claustrophobia attack and not the cowardice that has made her the most hated girl in town. The revelation is now made by Clare’s mother after Rachel tells her about the trick Jean pulled – playing on Clare’s claustrophobia – to get her expelled.

On the other hand, the editing also mercifully reduces some of Clare’s ordeal; for example, the hostility Clare receives from the townsfolk has been removed completely. Some of the bullying at school and the harsh treatment Clare gets from her parents has been deleted as well. The editing is pretty seamless, but there is one glitch: when Clare is pushed to the brink of suicide, she thinks the business at the club was the last straw. With the orienteering club deleted, readers must immediately have wondered “what club?” or “what’s missing here?”. They would know it’s been reprinted from somewhere else because there was always a caption saying “previously published” for the reprint material.

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Cutting out material also had the unfortunate effect of removing key turning points in some plots. For example, the reprint of “Thursday’s Child” removes the scene where an evil flag forces a man to nearly saw his own hand off. Yes, it’s gruesome. But in the original run it was what made the villainess, Julie, who had been using the flag’s power to conduct a revenge campaign against her future mother, Thursday, come to her senses and realise the flag had to be destroyed.

Below is a list of the Girl Picture Libraries, along with their original titles and appearances. The only one that has not been identified is “Penny’s Best Friend” in #8. It could be that this was an original story as not all the Girl Picture Libraries carried reprints, but I need to confirm this.

  1. Patty’s World – original
  2. Dear Diary – Vision of Vanity Fayre from Tammy
  3. Patty’s World – original
  4. The Dolphin Mystery – The Disappearing Dolphin from Jinty
  5. Cathy’s Crusade – Part 1 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  6. The Old Mill – original
  7. Dr Cathy – Part 2 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  8. Penny’s Best Friend – ?
  9. Circus Waif – Wild Rose from Jinty
  10. Stormy Seas – original
  11. Moments of Terror – Waves of Fear from Jinty
  12. The Shadow – Mike and Terry from Jinty
  13. Princess Wanted! – The Perfect Princess from Jinty
  14. The Black Sheep – Black Sheep of the Bartons from Jinty
  15. I’ll Never Sing Again! – Nothing to Sing About from Jinty
  16. A Second Chance – My Heart Belongs to Buttons from Jinty
  17. Winner-Loser! – No Medals for Marie from Jinty
  18. Spellbound! – Part 1 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus A Wee Sue story from Tammy reprinted as Tiny Tina
  19. Bewitched! – Part 2 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus a Strange Story, “A Monumental Detective” reprinted as “The Crook Catchers”
  20. The Inheritance – Race for a Fortune from Jinty
  21. The Fortune-Teller – Cursed to be a Coward! Jinty
  22. Tina’s Temper – Temper, Temper, Tina! from Tammy
  23. Fame and Fortune – Make the Headlines, Hannah! from Tammy
  24. Wonder Girl – Betta to Lose from Tammy
  25. The Witchfinder – Shadow on the Fen from Jinty
  26. Sweet and Sour – The Sweet and Sour Rivals from Jinty
  27. Carol in Camelot – Carol in Camelot St from Tammy
  28. The Happiest Days – Tammy
  29. Thursday’s Child – Tammy
  30. A Girl Called Midnight – Tammy

What makes a story work, pt 2?

Following on from my earlier post on how we can sensibly say that a story works (or doesn’t), I want to look at the elements that can add to, or detract from, how well a story works. These are elements that are mostly down to decisions made by the writer or the artist (or both), though editorial decisions can also be relevant. For each of the elements, therefore, I will consider what the balance of responsibilities tends to be, as well as discussing the nature of each of them.

  • Plot. What actually happens? How well tied-together are the events of the story, and how naturally or consistently do they flow from earlier ones? Is it a very run-of-the-mill plot or does it have innovative elements? Is the plot simple or convoluted, full of sidelines or straightforward? In particular, does the ending follow well from the main part of the action or does it undercut the earlier events, for instance through by use of a deus ex machina to wrap everything up neatly and too-quickly?
    • This lies mostly in the writer’s corner, though the editorial department may make suggestions.
    • Stronger: “Concrete Surfer” is a tightly-plotted story where everything that happens drives the action forwards to the skate-off between rivals and the subsequent denouement. Not a moment of action is wasted and it all hangs together.
    • Weaker: in “Fran of the Floods” lots of things happen, but in a quite meandering structure with sub-plots that you can get lost in. The later happenings are not very tightly tied into the earlier events, though there is a wrap-up at the end of the story. This is a danger for road-trip sort of stories.
  • Title. Is the title overly-explanatory or does it promise without revealing too much? Is it ho-hum or unusual?
    • As far as we know, coming up with the story’s title seems to have been part of the writer’s tasks. Sometimes it might have been changed by the editorial department either before publication or on reprint / translation.
    • Stronger: There are lots of really evocative story titles in Jinty. Examples like “Girl The World Forgot” or “Golden Dolly, Death Dust!” are suggestive without giving the whole game away.
    • Weaker: the formula girl’s name + descriptive reference was over-used in girls’ comics generally and feels hackneyed as a result. “Badgered Belinda”, “Angela Angel-Face”, “Diving Belle” are examples in Jinty, but looking at a single issue of Lindy the ratio of such titles seemed considerably higher so things could have been much worse!
  • Theme. Is the theme a well-trodden one such as the Slave or Cinderella themes? Is it an intrinsically unlikely one such as the Exploited Amnesiac? In either case it probably needs something extra to make it stand out.
    • Again as far as we know the story theme was mostly under the control of the writer, though the editorial office would, according to Pat Mills, aim to have specific themes represented such as the two mentioned above. Some writers would focus preferentially on certain themes, so we know that Alison Christie wrote a number of heart-tugging stories with Runaways or Guilt Complexes. The art style (discussed in the next post) was probably chosen to match the theme as far as possible, though of course it is entirely possible that the availability of an artist was used to inspire a writer on occasion.
    • Stronger: I wouldn’t say it is that clear that one theme is stronger than another but there is a lot of personal preference that will govern whether a story works for an individual reader or not.
    • Weaker: as mentioned above, some themes such as the Exploited Amnesiac are so intrinsically unlikely and indeed rather melodramatic and silly that it means that the story is battling against something of a headwind.
  • Pacing. Girls (and boys) comics of this era typically feature fast-paced stories, with cliff-hangers at the end of each episode. The conventions of this sort of story are rather different from Japanese manga, where the action tends to take place over a far greater number of pages. If a story is compressed more than usual for this genre it would feel confusing, or if it was too slow-paced likewise it could throw readers off.
    • This lies solidly in the remit of the writer, though the page layout and composition could have some effect too.
    • Stronger: “Concrete Surfer” has some of the best pacing I can immediately think of: it builds evenly and the momentum never stops. Every panel and page builds on the last.
    • Weaker: the pacing on “Freda’s Fortune” makes it an odd read, with much of the plot line of a normal horse & rival story compressed into two 6-page episodes.
  • Tone. Is the story light and frothy, silly, adventurous, realistic, tear-jerking, hard, gritty, subversive, or even sadistic? The dialogue is a big part of what sets the tone so I am including it in this element, though others might prefer to separate it out.
    • The style set by the comic overall is very linked to the tone of the individual stories inside; whether this is mostly to do with editorial choices as to which stories to publish or writers to commission, clearly the editorial focus has a part to play. Pat Mills reckons that there is a big divide between working class comics (Tammy, Misty, Jinty, Pink, and most of Bunty) and middle-class, ‘safe’ comics, and that this divide was purposeful, to try to move past the ‘old hat’ style of the past. The individual writer is the prime mover of the tone of the story but the artist also has an important role to play as the writing and art must of course match. Additionally, the artist is in a position to add a lot of background detail in their art, to really bring things to life (John Armstrong draws graffiti in the background of “Moonchild”, and Jim Baikie draws details from the London Underground of the 70s or earlier in his recreation of the futuristic world of “The Forbidden Garden”.)
    • Stronger: Of course one tone is not in itself ‘better’ than another, but some are more unusual or more consistently applied throughout. “Knight and Day” is the epitome of a gritty and realistic story of physical and emotional abuse within a family, played seriously and with enough emotional effect to convince the reader.
    • Weaker: In the link above, Pat Mills says that light and frothy stories are ‘safe’ and boring to the reader. This is arguable, but certainly a light and frothy story such as “The Perfect Princess” is by its nature one that is easier to dismiss the more emotional or tear-jerking tales. Perhaps more fatal to a story is a sudden shift in tone, such as Lorrbot mentions having happened in “Balloon of Doom” in her comment on the last post.
  • Resonance. I’m stretching a bit things here in using this term in this way. What I mean is whether the story has a certain mythic resonance, a re-use (in a purposeful way) of cultural material. Mermaids, spinning wheels, magic mirrors, wicked and cruel women: these all have resonance as they have been used in countless stories to tell us how to behave or what to be careful of. Re-use of a current successful story from a different medium also gives the comics narrative a chance to grab some resonance from elsewhere.
    • I am assuming this is mostly in the care of the writer, though of course the artist will be able to add in many visual elements that will strengthen the references.
    • Stronger: “Who’s That In My Mirror?” combines ideas of vanity, moral peril, and the idea that a mirror can hold a reflection of a kind of truth. It has echoes of “The Picture of Dorian Grey” and of the Andersen tale “The Shadow” – and its denouement is as spooky as anything in comics.
    • Weaker: There are so damned many stories of haunted mirrors that it’s very easy for the shine to wear off! For me, “The Venetian Looking-Glass” was just another one of many: the element of resonance had become repetition.
  • Audacity. This is sort of the flip side of Resonance, and again I am stretching things a bit in using this term in this way. By this I mean the ‘WTF’ element where you can’t quite believe that anyone dared to put that on the page! It is the element of surprise and of novelty, but it is quite a delicate balancing act.
    • The written story bears a lot of the responsibility for this element but the art is key in making sure that the reader’s suspension of disbelief doesn’t flag. The editorial and publishing teams are the ones who would be on the bosses’ carpet if it all goes horribly wrong (as it did for boys’ comic Action after questions were asked in parliament), so they are part of the mix too.
    • Stronger: “Worlds Apart” is one of the most audacious stories in girls’ comics, with each protagonist having to die in grotesque and excessive ways in order for them to progress to the next scenario. “Children of Edenford” is also outrageous but a bit more quietly so as it criticises the shibboleth of social mobility ahead of the tide of Thatcherism and yuppiedom to come.
    • Weaker: When audacity tips the scales of suspension of disbelief, the wheels come off. For me, the cruelties at the end of “Slave of the Swan” and “The Slave of Form 3B” push it a step too far.

To follow in the next post, discussions on:

  • Art quality
  • Art style
  • Character design
  • Page layout / composition
  • Art incidental details
  • Design / font / lettering
  • Format / edition

Jinty 5 January 1980

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(cover artist: Trini Tinturé)

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Perfect Princess – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Did Taffy Know? Gypsy Rose story
  • Alley Cat
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

It’s the first Jinty issue for 1980, but Jinty isn’t making it much of a New Year’s issue. The only mention of New Year is on the back cover, where we get instructions for making The Resolution Tree: draw a large tree, write your resolutions underneath and hang it up.

We do get a new story, though, “The Perfect Princess”. You have to decide whether this is one of Jinty‘s lesser offerings or one of her oddball stories. Whatever your opinion, it certainly turns fairytales and every girl’s dream of being a princess inside out. Sally Smith dreams of being a princess but is taking it a bit far. Her room is filled with books and pictures on fairytales and princesses, and she won’t mix with common people or get close to her foster parents because she is reserving herself for a more refined family. However, fairy tales do warn of great trials to become a princess, and Sally will soon find that is just what she is facing. But instead of wicked stepmothers, witches, curses, monsters and other fairy tale perils, Sally finds herself up against Princess Victoria, who is such a royal horror that she has been disowned.

In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” we get what seems to be the only appearance of Gaye’s parents throughout the entire run of this regular. Gaye bursts in on them to tell them all about the ghost (Sir Roger), but their only response is to confine her to bed sick. As only Gaye can see Sir Roger, the doctor thinks she has an imaginary companion and tells her she may have to stay in bed for months – until Sir Roger intervenes. Afterwards, Sir Roger is dismayed to find Gaye welcoming him as a friend instead of being scared.

Jinty 23 February 1980

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  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Perfect Princess (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Oasis of Dreams – Gypsy Rose story (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

This is no lightweight cover with happy images of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, “Pam of Pond Hill” or whatever. It is a cover with two tantalising panels of drama, thrills, terror and danger. We know that big things are happening in these two stories. The next cover will be even more dramatic, for it features Gothic images.

Inside we have a quiz that tests our fashion sense and how we would fare in a fashion shop. Jinty‘s sports pages cover hockey and ice skating. We also know that we are due for a new story soon because the final episode of “The Perfect Princess” is scheduled for next week. Princess Victoria thinks she has finally got rid of her latest rival for the crown and means to be crowned on roller skates. In the final episode we will just how she is going to be disappointed on both counts. And there is already a hint of it in the final panel.

“When Statues Walk” is approaching its climax with this issue, with Laura finding out she has jumped to the wrong conclusion about everything – with fateful and possibly deadly consequences for her. And the cover gives you a very strong hint of what those are. There are fateful consequences building up in “Pam of Pond Hill” as well, when Pam also draws to the wrong conclusions about Trina’s training for Marty after she sees the bruise on Marty’s back. In the next episode we will see just what those consequences will be.

In “Spirit of the Lake” and “Toni on Trial”, both our heroines save lives in this issue, but this does not resolve their problems. We are not sure if Cynthia likes Karen any better, despite Karen saving her life, and Toni is still branded by her mother’s disgrace. But she does draw the (correct) conclusion that her mother’s trouble must have been because she had an enemy, just as Toni does now. Unfortunately all the nastiness has worn Toni down and now she vows not to run again. So now we wait to see what changes her mind.

Jinty 1 March 1980

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Cover artist: Carlos Freixas

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Perfect Princess (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Alley Cat
  • The Haunted Circus – Gypsy Rose story (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

I bring you the cover of Jinty 1 March 1980 because it is one of my favourite Jinty covers. Gothic horror, in the form of the bat, vampire and skeleton (from The Ghost House in the circus story), was something seldom seen on a Jinty cover. But it does appear here, which makes it all the more striking.

The Gypsy Rose story featured on the cover is, I suspect, a reprint of a Strange Story because of the paste-ups of Gypsy Rose at the opening and close of the story. A circus is plagued by a series of strange events – the work of a joker, or a the ghost of Marvello, who had sworn revenge on them if they ever returned to the place where he had been killed? In the end, the hitherto sceptical circus owner does not know what to think, but gives the order to move on anyway.

In “Pam of Pond Hill”, Marty Michaels finally receives treatment for hurting her back and not telling anyone about it because she had sustained the injury while using the school trampoline without permission. But she unwittingly causes further trouble by deflecting the blame onto her sister Trina, which causes her to run off.  A stern lesson about honesty in facing the consequences for your mistakes. This is the final episode of the current Pam story, and a new one will begin next week. We are warned that it will feature mutiny because of school dinners.

“The Perfect Princess”, a story often regarded as one of Jinty‘s worst, concludes in this issue. We are promised that two new stories will begin next week. They are “Tearaway Trisha” and “The Venetian Looking Glass”. Incidentally, the latter is drawn by Phil Gascoine, who is still drawing “When Statues Walk” for Jinty. So Gascoine is drawing two stories simultaneously in Jinty – again. However, “When Statues Walk” has climaxed, with the evil Hel escaping her prison by switching bodies with Laura Ashbourne. So Gascoine does not have much further to go with it.

Meanwhile, Toni’s trials intensify in “Toni on Trial”, the relationship between Bridie and her mother takes a downturn in “White Water”, and the mystery of the “Spirit of the Lake” deepens as Karen ponders on who her mysterious coach is.

And what’s the exciting news the cover was talking about? In addition to two new stories, the next issue will feature “Wildflower Wonderland”, the start of a pullout on wildflowers. What they are, where to find them, their folklore, pressing them, poutpourri – and more!

 

 

Trini Tinturé

Spanish comic artist Trini is an iconic Jinty creator; her sharp lines lend themselves well to mean girls (Stacey in ‘The Slave of Form 3B’) and to humour (The Zodiac Prince). She has illustrated some true classics – ‘Creepy Crawley’ and ‘The Slave of Form 3B’ in particular – but whether drawing a one-shot Gypsy Rose story or a longer arc that gives her free rein with mad eyes and grins, her distinctive style is always a delight to see. She seems particularly good at brunettes with snapping glares, but her happy-go-lucky Zodiac Prince, one of the few male protagonists in a Jinty story, is also a memorable character.

Some of her stories are signed, such as this page from ‘Sisters At War!’ – a small neat signature in the very bottom left of the page that would be easy to miss. Even without that, it would be hard to avoid a contented recognition of her beautiful artwork on first sight.

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She is widely-published in Continental Europe, with long-running strips and short one-offs in Dutch comic Tina and in German magazine Biggi. Sadly though her name never became famous in this country in the way her artwork really deserves.

Her official website has text in English and Spanish.

List of Jinty stories attributable to Trini Tinturé:

Stories in other titles:

  • Orphans of Italy (June and School Friend, 1968) – 50 episodes
  • Jumping Julie and the Harlequins (Judy, 1969)
  • Oh, Tinker! (June and School Friend, 1969-1972)